Health

Is Bamboo Poisonous to Dogs? Understanding the Risk

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Author: Jacob Kay

Dogs being curious creatures like to eat everything and bamboos are one of them. Due to their taste and texture, they attract the canine creature. Paw parents often give bamboo to their dogs thinking it is a great alternative to chewing but, Is bamboo poisonous to dogs?

Through this blog we will provide you with sufficient information regarding it.

Is Bamboo Poisonous to Dogs?

Why Do Dogs Like To Chew Bamboo?

Bamboo is a grass mostly found and grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Bamboo can grow up to 100 feet tall and has hollow stems. Usually, you might have seen bamboo being used as furniture, to make paper, clothes and food. Bamboo is found in many households as it is considered prosperous and lucky.

Bamboo is beneficial for both humans and animals[1]. It provides us oxygen, helps in preventing soil erosion and provides food and shelter to many.

Dogs like to chew bamboo because of it’s crunchy and juicy texture. Bamboo is sweet which makes it more favourite of dogs. Dogs have an inbuilt natural chewing instinct which helps them relieve stress, boredom and anxiety.

Is Bamboo Poisonous to Dogs?

Dogs can eat bamboo, but not all the species of it are safe for dogs. Some species of bamboo contain toxins harmful to dogs. Here are the bamboo’s poisonous to dogs:

Heavenly bamboo
  • Heavenly bamboo or Nandina
  • Sacred bamboo or Nandina domestica
  • Lucky bamboo or Dracaena sanderiana

These above-mentioned bamboo are toxic for dogs and can contain a toxin called cyanogenic glycosides. This toxin releases hydrogen cyanide which interferes with the oxygen supply in the dog’s body and can even lead to death.

The Dangers of Bamboo Ingestion for Dogs

Here are the dangers of bamboo ingestion for dogs:

Choking

Bamboo is hard and if your dog eats a large chunk of it then it can get stuck in his throat leading to choking[2]. If it gets stuck in your dog’s throat then it can cause breathing difficulties.

Intestinal blockage

If the piece of bamboo gets stuck in your dog’s intestine then it can lead to intestinal blockage and intestinal bleeding. Due to this intestinal blockage, your dog may suffer from vomiting and diarrhoea with blood in it. To remove this stuck bamboo surgery may be required which will just increase the pain and discomfort.

As mentioned by Veronica Higgs, DVM in petmd, "An intestinal blockage (obstruction) is a partial or complete blockage of the intestines that stops solid foods or liquids from passing through. This can prevent absorption of water and nutrients, which can quickly cause the dog to become dehydrated and have imbalanced electrolytes (minerals that are important for the body to function)."

Toxicity

Some of the species of bamboo are toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests this species then he is likely to suffer from the poisoning. This toxicity can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, coma, weakness and in the worst case seizures.

Allergic reaction

Bamboo may not suit every dog, some may be allergic to it. Symptoms of bamboo allergy reaction in dogs are:

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction leading to low blood pressure, uneasiness, difficulty in breathing or shock.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Bamboo?

Here are ways to prevent your dog from eating bamboo:

Prevent Your Dog From Eating Bamboo

Build the fencing around the bamboo plant, by doing this your dog will not go near it preventing him from eating bamboo.

If the bamboos are kept in the open then keep your dog on leash to prevent him from eating them.

Train your dog, a well-trained dog is more prone to listen to commands. By doing this you can command your dog not to eat the bamboo.

Distract your dog by providing him with either chewing toys or treats.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Bamboo?

Here’s what you should do if your dog eats bamboo:

  • If your dog has eaten bamboo then look for symptoms like choking, vomiting, coughing, and breathing issues. If your dog is showing this symptom then he definitely needs help.
  • Check your dog’s mouth and remove any remaining pieces. If the bamboo piece is stuck deep in the mouth then do not attempt to remove it. Be careful and don’t hurt your dog by using any instruments.
  • If your dog has consumed bamboo and if it is allergic or toxic to him then consult a vet immediately. A vet can provide better medical advice and treatment to your dog.

Alternative Chew Toys for Dogs

Here are some alternative chew toys for dogs:

Chew Toys for Dogs

Edible toys

Edible toys are made of natural and dog-friendly ingredients. This type of toy includes rawhide bones, dental chews and bully sticks. It is one of the best alternatives to chew toys as it provides both dental benefits and nourishment.

Rubber toys

Rubber toys like Kong toys or Nylabone toys are best for your dog. These toys are flexible as well as durable. Even if your dog chews them aggressively they last longer. Rubber toys help in cleaning your dog’s teeth and gums.

Rope toys

Rope toys are the most recommended chew toys for dogs. They are made of cotton or nylon ropes and are mostly twisted, knotted and braided. You can even hide the treats in these rope toys and make them more interesting for your dog.

Rope toys also act as floss for your dog’s teeth and massage their gums.

FAQs

What are the symptoms of bamboo poisoning in dogs?

To know if your dog is suffering from bamboo poisoning or not check for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weakness, and dizziness. Although these symptoms are common in many health conditions you can look for some additional symptoms too. Additional symptoms include increased heart rate, seizures, or respiratory issues.

Why does my dog keep eating bamboo leaves?

Dogs can absolutely eat anything they like. Your dog might be eating bamboo leaves because of its taste, texture and smell. Besides this, he must consider it a chewing toy and enjoy playing with it.

What happens if your dog eats Lucky Bamboo?

Lucky bamboo is not true bamboo they are a type of dracaena plant that has a close resemblance to bamboo. Lucky bamboo consists of natural toxins called cyanogenic glycosides. Due to this toxin, your dog is likely to suffer from poisoning.

Why do dogs like to chew on bamboo?

Dogs like to chew on bamboo due to their natural chewing instinct, which helps them soothe their gums. Chewing helps dogs prevent stress, boredom, dental problems and anxiety. Dogs can even chew bamboo considering it a chewing toy.

How can I tell if my dog has eaten bamboo?

To know if your dog has eaten bamboo or not keep a close watch on your dog’s daily activities, behaviour and movement. The symptoms of bamboo poisoning are vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate and consult a vet immediately.

Conclusion

Bamboo serves several health benefits and is also good for health, but if something is good for you doesn’t mean it is good for them too. We hope that through our blog, “Is bamboo poisonous to dogs?” we have solved this query now.

Reference:

  • WebMD Editorial Contributors. (2020, August 19). Health benefits of bamboo. WebMD.
  • Wooten, S., DVM. (2022, August 17). 5 common causes of choking in pets. PetMD.
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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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